THE Government should be held accountable for the effect of climate change especially in the forestry sector, Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane said yesterday.
Speaking at the 2009 PNG Media Council workshop titled “The media and climate change” in Port Moresby, Sir Paulias said: “Due to the fact that our Government’s finances rarely trickle down to our people as promised, our rural people surrender their lush tropical forests to foreign logging operation under the pretext of development – in other words, the destruction of our natural forests.”
He told climate change and environmental stakeholders that the effects of logging were seen today with soil erosion and landslides, destruction of biodiversity and the natural forest habitats.
Sir Paulias said subsequent issues of climate change such as social, political, economical and rising sea level were results of the inadequacy and the inefficiency of the infrastructure of democratic Government that the country had adopted at Independence in 1975.
“For many of the social economic problem anticipated in connection with deforestation and climate change would be direct results of being irresponsive and not resilient enough in implementing the fine principles that the Government has,” Sir Paulias said.
Similar sentiment was shared by Prof Simon Saulei, director of Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute, who said climate was having a real impact on the forestry sector.
Prof Saulei said due to effect of deforestation, PNG was likely to lose its biodiversity and be vulnerable to infestation by insects and pathogens, fire, forest loss results in landslips, erosion and loss of genetics.
“Not only that, it will make avenues for invasive species moving into new habitats as well as extinction of less adaptive species to changed environmental conditions.
“To help reduce carbon emission into the atmosphere connected to deforestation, the only option is to plant more trees or stop cutting them down.”